The University of California system, of which the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a part, is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment. In fact, the University of California has been recognized as a leader in its sustainability practices, gaining momentum and national recognition by expanding its sustainability policy, which was first adopted in July 2003.

UCSF has a robust sustainability program covering activities across the entire campus and medical center.

UC’s Policy on Sustainable Practices includes guidelines and commitments in eight areas – operations and maintenance, purchasing, climate protection, energy procurement and generation, transportation, waste reduction, food systems, and green building design – making it one of the most ambitious and comprehensive institutional sustainability commitments in the nation.

For its part, UCSF’s sustainability efforts began as a staff initiative in 2004. Today, sustainability at UCSF has evolved into a program drawing in representatives from the campus and UCSF Medical Center.

Efforts are now led by the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, which is charged to examine UCSF’s effect on the environment from a comprehensive perspective; to evaluate existing UCSF policies, procedures and programs that affect the environment; to serve as a coordinating body for groups or individuals concerned with sustainability issues at UCSF; and to recommend to the chancellor changes that will increase sustainability at UCSF.

In 2008, UCSF introduced the Farmers’ Market, which fits in well with campus efforts toward sustainability.

At UCSF, sustainability and green building efforts are expected to reach new heights as the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay project targets LEED gold certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Created and administered by the nonprofit US Green Building Council, LEED has emerged as the national standard for high-performance green buildings.

In developing a new hospital complex for women, children and cancer patients at Mission Bay, UCSF seeks to innovate and maximize sustainable and eco-effective design and operations within the project funding available and in accordance with the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices.

Design, construction, operations and purchasing strategies for the new UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, scheduled to open in 2014, will integrate the best green practices available and incorporate leading-edge discoveries in evidence-based design, a body of knowledge that demonstrates a built environment can positively affect healing, health, safety and well-being.